Nitrate and Nitrite Concentration in the Drinking Water of Some Universities in Iran

Document Type : Short Communication


Department of Food Hygiene and Aquaculture, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Water is vital for life, and its poor quality causes significant adverse effects on the health of individuals and the community. Groundwater is an important source of nitrate, and higher nitrate levels than the standard limits may lead to several health complications, such as hemoglobin metabolism and formation of nitro amino compounds. The present study aimed to determine the concentration of nitrate and nitrite in the drinking water of some universities in Iran. Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted during the 2016-2017 to measure the concentration of nitrate and nitrite in the drinking water of some universities in Iran, including Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Guilan University, Kerman University, Hamedan University, Chamran University of Ahvaz, Shiraz University, Qom University, Isfahan University, Sabzevar University, and Tehran University. In total, 156 samples were collected, and nitrate and nitrite concentrations were assessed using a HACH DR-5000 spectrophotometer (Germany). Results: The nitrate content in all the samples was below the standard limits. The highest level of nitrate was observed in the drinking water samples collected from Sabzevar University, and the lowest level was observed in the samples obtained from Guilan and Kerman universities. However, nitrite content was not detected in any of the samples. Conclusion: The World Health Organization standards for nitrate and nitrite levels in drinking water are less than 50 and 3 mg/l, respectively. Drinking water with lower levels of nitrate and nitrite than 50 and 3 mg/l is considered to be safe for public use. However, comprehensive studies are required for the monitoring of the chemical quality of water supplies and providing practical applications for the avoidance of the increased levels of these ions.


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